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Cord blood – bank or donate?

by Christa on October 10, 2013

in Baby Gins,Pregnancy

There’s a ton of information floating around for new parents regarding cord blood banking and donation. But especially banking. There are many private companies that (for a nice price, of course) collect and store your child’s cord blood upon birth.

We wanted to get all the info before deciding, but knew that we would either bank it or donate it (for the stem cells for someone else to use if they were a match). We were torn – should we bank it privately for our own children’s potential use in the future, or donate it?

I put Shane in charge of research because a) I have more than enough baby-related projects right now, and b) I knew he’d do a thorough job investigating.

After he presented me (don’t worry, there was no Powerpoint or anything) with all of the information, we’ve made the decision to donate our baby’s cord blood to the bank at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

First of all, private banking of cord blood is bloody (pun intended) expensive. Probably $1,000-$2,000 initially and then another hundred or so per year for storage. That’s NOT a lot if you are thinking of it as an investment in your child’s health. But secondly, if Baby Girl (G-d forbid) had some sort of problem – blood cancer, osteoporosis, etc. – that cord blood is banked and used for, she likely would not be able to even use her own stem cells because of this. Now, a sibling might be able to use them in the future. But if they were a match, why couldn’t Baby Girl just donate stem cells then and there? It’s pretty confusing.

Read this article - I think it better explains our line of thinking.

And part of me thinks perhaps it will be good karma to donate it in the hopes that it will save a life. Don’t get me wrong – I think banking it is probably a good decision too. It just wasn’t the way to go for us.

Lookie there – Be the Match again!  And yall know I love some LLS.


I called up MD Anderson to say we wanted to donate, and they couldn’t have made it easier. I just let my doctor know, she puts it in my file, and one of their collectors will be ready and waiting when I get to the hospital so they can get the cord blood after baby is born. All we have to do is sign the paperwork!

Anyone else donate or bank cord blood?  Was it as confusing to you?

{ 2 trackbacks }

Thoughts on childbirth, Part II
October 16, 2013 at 10:42 am
Baby Gins Birth Story
November 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ki October 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

We were on Team Donate as well for the reasons you outlined, as well as the fact that our genetic background didn’t make it likely that stem cells would be a suitable treatment for likely problems. Some races or certain genetically related illnesses/disorder can benefit more from cord blood banking, from my (sketchy) understanding. Good on you for getting MD Anderson contacted early. We did it at the hospital and it was NOT fun to deal w/ b/w contractions. (And then we didn’t even get to donate in the end, I think, bc the emergency c-section was so sudden!)


Christa October 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

That’s exactly our reasoning too, Ki! I wonder what would happen if, for instance, yall had chosen to bank. If you were unable to bank for some reason (like for the c-section), I wonder what fees would have still applied. That would have upset me!


Ki October 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm

That’s an excellent question- I would have had crazy anger about any fees for an outcome of a birth scenario I wasn’t aiming for! (And just in case I was unclear, the MD Anderson people were lovely at the hospital- it just sucked trying to listen to them explain anything and deal with writing while contracting. Never have signatures been so hard for me to write!)


Christa October 11, 2013 at 7:18 am

Good to know! I have a feeling we will have more stuff to sign when we get there….aces. ;)


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